Doing Time in California | Critical Book Review

“Doing Time in California” takes readers on a wild ride through the unpredictable realms of love, loss, and friendship. As we delve into the pages of Dwight Jesmer’s novel, the burning question arises: serve your time or indulge in a round of golf?

Kimo Jones: A Teacher Turned Escaped Convict

Kimo Jones, once a high school teacher, finds himself behind bars for drunk driving. As the story unfolds, we join Kimo just weeks away from freedom, a freedom that remains elusive. Opting for an impromptu escape during his volunteer time on the water, Kimo stumbles upon a wedding and encounters Rachel—a captivating young woman hungry for excitement and, fortunately for Kimo, a bit of romance.

A Misadventure Filled with Twists, Turns, and Unexpected Emotions

The narrative unfolds into a raucous misadventure, featuring unexpected twists, turns, moments of intimacy, uproarious laughter, and touching emotional encounters. What begins as an escapade for golfing fun takes an unexpected turn when Kimo learns about Michelle, a missed chance at love, facing her final days. Kimo’s mission transforms into a heartfelt attempt to bring joy to Michelle before her departure to the great unknown.

Loose and Carefree, but Not Without its Quirks

“Doing Time in California” embodies the spirit of a carefree comedy novel, urging readers to loosen their grip on life’s gravity. While navigating themes of death and escapades of an escaped convict, the novel delivers a satisfying experience, brimming with wild antics and a charismatic leading lady.

A Few Stumbles in the Humorous Landscape

Rachel: A Missed Opportunity for Depth

Despite its humorous touch, the novel falters in its treatment of Rachel. Her carefree attitude and potential for a more substantial role in Kimo’s transformation are overshadowed by her reduction to a flat character primarily used for sexual relief and escape. Missed opportunities to explore her desires and goals leave a void in the character’s potential depth.

Humor Hits and Misses

While the novel adeptly handles humor in various instances, there are moments where the treatment of race and sexuality falls short. The occasional misstep in certain lines detracts from the overall comedic tone, reminding readers that navigating sensitive topics requires finesse.

Plot Peaks and Diverting Valleys

The plot shines brightest when the tension of Kimo potentially getting caught, unraveling the truth about Michelle, and orchestrating special moments for her takes center stage. However, elongated diversions, such as Kimo’s extended interactions with his grandparents, occasionally disrupt the narrative flow. Yet, the story consistently returns to its emotional core.

An Unexpected, Goofy, and Outlandishly Enjoyable Experience

“Doing Time in California” lives up to its promise of providing unexpected, goofy, and outlandish entertainment. Despite a few quirks and missed opportunities, the novel remains capable of delivering a good time for readers seeking a wild and unconventional journey.

Publisher, Genre, Print Length, and ISBN

PublisherGenrePrint LengthISBN
Atmosphere PressGeneral Fiction / Humor284 pages978-1639885688

“Doing Time in California” takes readers on a wild ride through the unpredictable realms of love, loss, and friendship. As we delve into the pages of Dwight Jesmer’s novel, the burning question arises: serve your time or indulge in a round of golf? Kimo Jones: A Teacher Turned Escaped Convict Kimo Jones, once a high…